News SpaceX applies for globe-enveloping sat broadband licence

Discussion in 'Article Discussion' started by Gareth Halfacree, 21 Nov 2016.

  1. Gareth Halfacree

    Gareth Halfacree WIIGII! Staff Administrator Super Moderator Moderator

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  2. perplekks45

    perplekks45 LIKE AN ANIMAL!

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    I am currently stuck with a 6 Mbit/s connection at home and am contemplating switching to a DSL/LTE hybrid solution next year. This does sound interesting... in 5 years time.
     
  3. wolfticket

    wolfticket Downwind from the bloodhounds

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    I wonder if they could could miniaturise the consumer end enough enough to extend this to global mobile phone and internet coverage. Now that would be a game changer.
     
  4. Maki role

    Maki role Dale you're on a roll... Staff

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    Hope they have a good plan for decommissioning the satellites too when they either suffer faults or become outdated. That's a large number of objects whizzing around at quite a pace up there. It might not sound like many given the surface area of a sphere that large, but s*** does have an ability to happen despite low odds.
     
  5. edzieba

    edzieba Virtual Realist

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    The major sticking points here are going to be:

    - Sat-to-sat laser links. Laser comms have been demonstrated in Earth and Lunar orbit, but there's some way to go from a tech demo to productiondevices

    - In Space Routing. As far as I am aware, no satellites currently use In Space Routing for live data, and there is only one active demonstrator (Cisco's IRIS). SpaceX's constellation relies on sat-to-sat routing rather than the satellites acting as 'bent pipes' and routing performed by intermediary ground stations.

    - Ground downlink and uplink. Due to the non-geostationary nature of the constellation, a fixed antenna cannot be used. That means every downlink will need to be continuously repositioning itself with multiple antennae to perform satellite handoff. Iridium does this with omnidirectional antennas and very low datarates. From what little information SpaceX have released, they intend to use electronically steered phased arrays to track multiple satellites from one fixed ground station.

    This is not really a replacement for domestic broadband (it will never come close to competing with POTS, coax or optical fibre in terms of price, bandwidth or latency), and is only partially a 'better satellite internet' for rural areas of high-GDP countries. It's main purpose is to act as an 'infrastructureless backbone' for developing nations, who have already skipped landline rollout by deploying mobile cells directly. A high-bandwidth satellite link could be paired with a GSM basestation and a solar array and battery, allowing you to drop a box into a remote village anywhere on the planet and get them online. It also acts as a testbed for setting up a similar network for Mars.
     
  6. Shangri-La

    Shangri-La Member

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    You have my sympathies, where I'm living at the moment I get 400/Kbs download speed, 430/Kbs on a good day with the wind behind it. GTA V took days to download.
     
  7. perplekks45

    perplekks45 LIKE AN ANIMAL!

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    I know the problem. I asked a friend to download Doom for me so I could play it close to release day (ordered it from the UK for dirt cheap so it did not arrive on release day) instead of half a week later.
     

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